Some more philosophy thoughts:
I know most people have trouble with Augustine’s essay, because all it’s principles are based on the first principle, that God exists, even though Augustine didn’t prove that God existed. But supposing God existed. Then his entire argument is quite good. Perhaps Augustine didn’t think he had to prove that God existed because a) he assumed everybody else believed in God’s existence and b) somebody else would prove His existence, and thus validate his entire argument. I may be the only one who read next week’s assignment already, but Thomas Aquinas fufilled choice b).
So, if Aquinas is right, then I agree with Augustine, that God did not create evil. Evil arose because God gave man free will so that they may do good things. If God didn’t give man free will, then that defeats the purpose of being. That would also make God a tyrant (as in Satan’s view). But, with free will comes choices. We say that people make good choices and bad choices. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Naturally Man is inquisitive, wanting to learn more, such as why should they obey God and His commandments? Since angels are less than God (though more than man), they may have such thoughts as that, and that led to Satan’s downfall. He went away from God, and thus is how Satan gave rise to sin.
A government doesn’t create criminals because they made laws. Criminals turn away from the law, and thus they become criminals. If one believes God created evil, that’s analogous to saying that one believes the government created criminals. (This only applies to good governments, obviously, to make this an approximate analogy. If we compared God to a tyrannic government, that’s analogous to saying God is like Saddam Hussein, or Kim Il Jong, or Ahmadhitlerjihad. Okay, so I fudged his name ’cause I can’t spell it, but you know who he is.).
Does all this make sense?
True, his argument is flawed if you consider the fact he didn’t prove the existence of God, but, like I said, later philosophers prove the existence of God, so that validates the argument. So, I say, don’t let your initial misgivings completely condemn Augustine; wait until you read Aquinas (I think it was him…I read ahead and lost track) before you form an opinion. It’s like what Darwin did. He theorized about evolution, though there were gaps in his theory, he and others who came later looked for evidence to support his theory. Though we see a glaring gap in Augustine’s assertion, others who came later looked for evidence of God’s existence.
Sure, if you apply a strict “God created everything” view, that is true. So, while He may never have intended sin, (why didn’t you use your free will the way I wanted you to?!) He knew that sin could be a consequence of free will. We say every cloud has a silver lining; that comes out of the thought that God creates good out of every evil. When Adam and Eve sinned, they served as an example to the rest of us not to sin, otherwise we’ll come to the same end they did. We’ll be banished from Paradise (in this case, heaven).
I agree with —-, though I think we have true free will. God preconcieves numerous paths we can take, by choosing one of the paths we seal off the other paths and open up later ones that come down the road. So, that’s how God knows everything, but through our free will we chose one aspect of God’s knowledge. So if I had Froot Loops this morning, God knew that. But I had Peanut Butter Crunch instead, and God knew that too. It’s hard to wrap our brains around that thought, but our finite brains could never be on the same par as God’s infinite brain.